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tv   Teen Kids News  NBC  June 12, 2010 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT

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coming up on this week's edition of "teen kids news" -- just because it has a safety cap doesn't mean it's safe. i'll have the latest on teens and prescription drug abuse. your backpack could be doing you harm. i'll show you how to avoid the pain. fantastic gymnastics. we'll take a look at how a gymnast learns to make such amazing moves. the news you need to know, next on "teen kids news."
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welcome to "teen kids news." i'm mwanzaa. >> and i'm jessica. there's good news when it comes to teens and drugs. surveys show fewer high school students are using illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin. but there's also bad news. a different type of drug abuse is on the rise. as felipe tells us, this problem is more serious than we may think. >> reporter: we're talking about prescription drug abuse. doctors prescribe drugs to treat illnesses. but more and more teens are taking these same drugs for fun. that means they're also taking a big risk. they may be in the medicine cabinet at home -- pain relievers, sleeping pills. and even if they aren't intended for us, some teens think they're okay to take. >> prescription drugs, you can't get addicted as easily, i don't think. >> i don't think they can be that bad for you if they're
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meant to make someone better, even it it's not you. >> i think that some people do see this as a safe high. i think they do think of a pill, not quite having the stigma or the dirt of some other drugs and that it might be safer or healthier, but that's just not the case. >> reporter: according to a recent survey, the number of teens using prescription drugs to get high is going up. >> we're definitely concerned about the misuse of prescription drugs. it's rising at an alarming rate, and it's one of the only drugs that we're seeing an uptick in. so, we're going to keep our eye on it and definitely try to get the word out, because it can be fatal and it can definitely put a kid on the road to addiction and serious problems and consequences later on. >> reporter: the prescription drugs teens admit to abusing most are oxycontin and vicodin. both are painkillers. but they can have bad side effects, especially if they're not prescribed for you. dr. jess shatkin is a child psychiatrist. >> you know, by and large, for kids who abuse them now and
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then, it will affect their judgment a great deal and they won't think straight. you can even, if you take enough, have an obstruction so your bowels don't move and you have a serious health consequence. >> reporter: they can also cause heart failure. in fact, government officials say that in recent years, there's been a 450% increase in emergency room visits by people who've used oxycontin. another popular prescription drug is ritalin. ritalin is very helpful for kids who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or adhd. but if you don't have adhd, using ritalin can lead to some pretty scary stuff. >> anxiety, tremors, decrease in appetite, trouble falling asleep. you don't sleep well for a few days. you can get pretty nutty sometimes. you know, it's not terribly good for your mental health. but beyond that, you can get psychotic. you know, you hear voices or see things or have delusional or false beliefs that other people don't have, or get paranoid. >> reporter: and if you're using or thinking about abusing prescription drugs, ask yourself
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why. >> there's always a reason that people abuse drugs and alcohol. most of those reasons have to do with unhappiness. so to kids, i would say, "what's missing in your life that you are willing to throw away all the good stuff out there?" >> reporter: if you or a friend is abusing prescription drugs, get help right away. for more information on how, check out our website, new revlon colorburst lipstick. impossibly light feel, intensely rich color. together at last. revlon colorburst lipstick. it's love at first swipe. assistance getting around their homes. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little or no cost to you. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your
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mobility and your life. one medicare benefit that, with private insurance, may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen ... your power chair will be paid in full. the scooter store. hi i'm doug harrison. we're experts at getting you the power chair or scooter you need. in fact, if we qualify you for medicare reimbursement and medicare denies your claim, we'll give you your new power chair or scooter free. i didn't pay a penny out of pocket for my power chair. with help from the scooter store, medicare and my insurance covered it all. call the scooter store for free information today. they've led the country.
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how much do you know about them? here's this week's chance for you to "guess the president." he was wounded in the civil war, fighting for the north. then he served three terms as governor of ohio. the writer, mark twain, campaigned for him for president. but the election was so close that a special commission was appointed to figure out who won. b. hayes, left behind a controversy. he agreed to pull federal troops out of the south. they had been there since the war, protecting the rights of former slaves. they would have to struggle for those rights for the next hundred years. animals can be loveable creatures. but if they aren't well trained, they can be real beasts. and that's where animal trainers come in. whether it's a household pet, a four-legged movie star or a k-9 cop, animals are taught obedience and discipline.
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many animals can be trained to live and work with people, but dogs are worked with the most. this is a job that takes lots of patience. trainers use different techniques, but rewarding the correct action is usually done with food or praise. obviously, a love of animals is needed to be a trainer. but if you think it's all fun, you may be barking up the wrong tree. animal training involves every aspect of their care and upkeep. it can be a physically demanding job if you work at a zoo or with large animals. most schools don't have degrees in animal training, so one way to learn is through apprenticeships. it might be a good idea to work at a kennel or grooming service. you'll get experience and make some money at the same time. more high-powered jobs, such as for movies or live shows, are harder to get and might require further skills. if you want to learn more about what it takes to become an animal trainer, check out
1:38 pm i'm lily for "work it!" i'll have sports when "teen kids news" continues. don't go away.
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people who don't follow the sport of gymnastics usually pay attention every four years, when it's time for the summer olympics. but tyler's here to tell us about teens who are all about gymnastics all year 'round. tyler? >> reporter: mwanzaa, it takes a lot of dedication. gymnastics is a sport that requires four "p"s -- passion, precision, power and practice. >> gymnastics is really a unique sport. you need a combination of flexibility and strength, and you really have to go out there and kind of be a daredevil. >> reporter: vinny savastano has been coaching gymnastics for 16 years, but he got his start when he was just a kid. >> i actually did gymnastics when i was younger.
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my parents owned a gymnastics school. >> reporter: in 2007, his team was undefeated -- something his current team aspires to. aspires to. >> it kind of rubs off on the younger teams. they want to strive for that. >> reporter: the girls warm up, then they hit the mats. >> there's four events. there's vaulting, floor exercise, there's the balance beam and the uneven bars. >> reporter: judges score the girls based on difficulty and execution. >> each move is broken into "a," "b" and "c" moves. "a" being the easiest and "c" being the hardest. >> reporter: and there's one more thing -- the athletes are scored individually and as a team. >> each person goes one at a time on each event, and there's a judge for that event. the judge takes notes as your doing your routine. they add the five best scores from your team for that event, and then they add it to all the other events, and that's how you get your team score at the end.
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>> reporter: these girls make it look easy, but it takes years of dedication. >> they work out three to five times a week for approximately two and a half, three hours. many of them have been doing gymnastics since they were just toddlers. >> i started when i was 2 1/2, 3. >> i've been a gymnast for 12 years now. i actually have my son in it right now, who is 18 months. >> reporter: starting young has its advantages. >> i'm only a freshman, and i'm a captain. i mean, it's just amazing. >> reporter: but there's more to gymnastics than just the physical. >> you have to mentally prepare yourself. picture your routines and visualize what you want your routines to look like. >> reporter: coach savastano says there are important life lessons to be learned from the sport, too. >> the more competitions they get under their belt, we really think that helps for life. when they compete and work hard, that's the things they're learning out of these sports.
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[whistle blowing] visit...
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your schoolbooks could be harmful to your heath. i don't mean reading them. i mean carrying them around in an overloaded backpack. jenna explains. >> if you carry too much stuff in your backpack, it can cause problems with your back. >> it's very, very heavy. they hurt my shoulders my neck and just my back in general. >> reporter: many of us know the joy of lugging a heavy backpack to and from school each day. the experts say that burden is more than just annoying. doctors at the university of california and the inland empire spine center report a direct connection. they link heavy backpacks to recurring back pain. >> there has been an increase in backpack injuries, about 256% since 1996. and that's brought a lot of attention from chiropractors and emergency rooms. >> reporter: the california study focused on more than 3,000 middle school students.
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more than 40% of them reported pain that they blamed on their backpacks. it's a more common problem among girls, but boys feel the pain, too. and doctors worry that the pain might come back later in life. sharon is an expert on organization, and she says rule number one is to carry your backpack the right way. >> you have a lot of weight on your back and on your shoulders. and most students tend to carry their backpacks off of one shoulder. you know, they carry it like this, and then it makes you tilt and it causes you to go forward. and that causes a lot of pain up in through your neck and across your back and shoulders. >> reporter: here are some other tips to give your back a break. look for backpacks with padding, including on the straps. check how much you're carrying. weigh yourself without and then with the pack, then subtract the difference. that study i mentioned indicates you should aim for a pack between 5% and 15% of your total
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body weight. so if you weigh 120 pounds, aim for a 6- to 18-pound load. i know, the reality is that most of us carry much heavier packs. so remember, when you pick it up, bend from the knees. and get organized. backpacks with compartments help you distribute weight more evenly. pack flat, heavier items closer to your back. and keep odd-shaped items toward the outside. try to carry only what you need that day. >> the students should utilize their lockers better. they can keep most of their books inside the locker during the day. and in between classes, grab the book that you need, let's say a textbook and a folder. if everything's color-coded, it will be really easy to get and it won't take much time. for "teen kids news," i'm jenna.
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ever look at state flags? they can be rather interesting. some have mottoes. lots have pictures. but only one is not a rectangle. ohio's state flag is called a burgee -- a pennant with two points. "word!" your chance to match wits with made-up definitions. can you find the real thing? let's take one from the "p" page. pupa. pupa is a noun. it means either the innermost black center of the eye. or it's an insect on the verge of its adult stage. or pupa is the damp spot on the ground when a puddle dries. pupa is an insect on the verge of its adult stage. no longer a larva, but not yet ready to roll, or fly, as the case may be. and here's another "p" -- pusillanimous. an adjective. does it mean constantly ready to fight? or constantly ready to run, cowardly? or extremely careful with money? the answer is that pusillanimous means cowardly.
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as in, don't be a pusillanimous chicken. be brave and play "word!" now, how about this? irregardless. does it mean without regard to or in spite of? well, kinda. that word is really regardless. and though you might find "irregardless" in some dictionaries, it's not the standard for the word. in fact, some teachers might mark it flat-out wrong. so we recommend you stick with regardless, without regard to or in spite of. pupa -- an insect on the verge of adulthood. pusillanimous -- cowardly. regardless -- not irregardless, in spite of. remember them till next time we play "word!"
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there's an invasion going on in europe -- an invasion of
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ants. a certain kind of ant that devours plants is moving into parks and gardens and pushing other ants out of the way. scientists say the ants could become a problem worldwide. this report is brought to you by "drive to the auto shows" discovery hd theater. >> well, here at the 2010 new york auto show, there's so many new cars to look at. and a lot of time, you actually get to get inside of them and sort of give them a feel. one minivan that i can promise you just about every family is going to want to buy is coming from chrysler. and it's not just because the seating is cool or that they've got drop-down monitors, but they've brought that whole system to a new level. come on in and take a look, because it's called flo-tv. and chrysler has partnered with flo-tv to offer not just one or two tv channels, but to offer literally dozens of options, disney, nickeloden, mtv, espn, anything that you can think of
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that you want to watch on tv, you can get on flo-tv. the antenna for this is mounted to the roof of the car, and it's really small, about the size of a computer mouse. the system costs about $600. mom and dad can have the dealer install it, and they'll even include a one-year subscription. called flo-tv, exclusively on chrysler and especially inside chrysler minivans. well, mazda's excited about a new smaller car. take a look at this. this is called the mazda 2, all new for 2011. it gets really good gas mileage, about 35 miles to the gallon. it will go on sale this summer. the price is about $13,900 and has a 4-cylinder, 1.5 liter engine. this is a big car -- something that maybe your parents might want to look at. from hyundai, it's called the equus. mid-$50,000 price range, but its got a lot of luxury inside. it almost looks like a bmw or mercedes. and those seats, not only do the recline electrically, but they also give you a massage while your driving. it's from hyundai.
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well, nissan's got a quirky little car out with a funny name. it's called the juke. take a look. the nissan juke arrived here in new york. it will go on sale this fall. it will be priced under $20,000. it will have a turbo engine, all-wheel drive, so it will be good in the weather. you can either get it with leather or rear-view monitor, and it be a big addition to the nissan line-up. well, kia is excited about their new crossover vehicle. it's the sportage. all new, it's got better fuel economy and more power than ever. it's got a 4-cycliner engine with a 2.4 liter engine. now in this car, you can actually send or receive texts messages without even using your fingers. lot of technology on board for the all-new sportage. it's available this coming summer. well, microsoft, the big softwaremaker, is partnering with ford on a new technology. many families are going to be driving plug-in and electric cars soon, but will need to know how and when to recharge them in order not to spend a lot of money on electricity. that's what microsoft home system does. it helps to manage the
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electrical use once so many of our families begin to plug-in our cars. well, acura has a new car out that you might want to take a look at. take a picture of this. it's the 2010 acura tsx wagon, a smaller crossover vehicle, which means you get a lot of room inside, but still get good gas mileage. it'll go on sale this fall. mom and dad will spend about $29,000 on it, and you can actually fit five passengers in it. from acura, it's called the tsx wagon. well, another suv a lot of people are oohing and ahing over is from infiniti. it's this -- the 2011 infiniti qx56. first-class luxury for a whole lot of people and a whole lot of room inside. eight-passenger seating, but take a look at how much space you get when you fold all those seats down. you'll do so by just pressing a button, and they'll go down electrically. it will be on sale late this summer. price point, $56,000. well, from kia, they're showing off their lineup. this is an all new optima. you can get it with a gas engine
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or turbo or a hybrid engine. from kia, the optima, all new, four cylinders, it gets great gas mileage and will be available for around $20,000 this fall. and finally from hyundai, this is the all new sonota. you can get it with a turbo or in this, the blue drive hybrid. the sonota is available the first time from hyundai as a hybrid. it's built here in the united states. no pricing on it yet, but it will be available in late 2010. from the new york auto show, i'm doug brauner. there's a lot of modern technology used in schoolwork these days. computers, calculators. some kids even have language labs on their ipods. but you might also get some help from something that's thousands of years old. it's called feng shui. kristen found out that lots of
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kids use feng shui without even knowing it. >> i think it's important to be organized so you can find things when you are doing your homework. >> i have my books on one side, paper on another, pens in front of me. >> my room is light blue, and it's verery good, 'cause it giv a cool kind of effect. it's not too harsh, and i could concentrate. >> reporter: it may sound like they're just comparing study habits. but these students are actually adopting the principles of an ancient chinese practice, feng shui. >> feng shui means wind and water, and the study of feng shui is all about how the energy flows within your life, your home. if the energy is not flowing properly, it can affect your daily life, actually your whole life, in the way you study and the way you absorb and take in information. >> reporter: you don't have to have things from the far east to have feng shui. but you do have to develop a sense of what's getting in the way of that flow of energy. >> the everyday applications would apply to how you set up your furniture, let's say within your bedroom, where your bed sits in correlation to the door or when you're studying or when you are sitting in a room whether you're facing the entranceway. how you place things in front of a doorway or not in front of the doorway.
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everything has a certain position within your home space, your bedroom space and your workspace. >> reporter: in addition to the location of things in the room, feng shui also involves the effect of sounds, textures, shapes, even colors. >> if you were creating a study area, two colors you would definitely avoid would be red and orange since they are of very high energy. so you'd probably look for more colors that might be blue or green or yellow. >> reporter: feng shui practitioners also believe that cutting clutter allows us to concentrate. so maybe our parents are onto something, when they say, "clean up this room, now!" >> there, that feels better. i'm kristen for "teen kids news." that's all for now, but we'll be back soon with more "teen kids news." >> have a good one!
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the images from haiti are heart-breaking-- homes, hospitals, and schools destroyed; families searching for loved ones; parents trying to feed their children.
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but we can all do something. we can help the american red cross as it delivers the food, water, and medicine that can save lives. donate $10 by texting "haiti" to 9-0-9-9-9. visit or call 1-800-red-cross. thanks for your help.


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